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Let It Go by Josh Nelson

The debut album Let It Go by Josh Nelson is impressive, beautifully crafted arrangements, a wonderful assortment of tunes and a superb performance by an excellent cast of supporting musicians. Josh Nelson has composed all but four of the songs on this album, he is primarily featured on piano, and he produces rich sounding lyrical statements, augmented by solid rhythmic play and a melodic groove that blends it all together perfectly.

The recording opens with an original Josh Nelson composition, "Loose End" an ear opening tune, a classically motivated introduction on piano, a rapid tempo, intricate rhythms and a beautiful melody all encompassed in a free spirited musical exploration, fresh contemporary music, strong playing and exciting time shifting grooves. Staying in the high energy spirit the very next song "Introspection on 401" another of the Nelson original compositions features saxophonist Seamus Blake who is playing with intense passion, blowing as the hurricane force winds that cross that stretch of the Trans Canada highway that the song is based upon.

The composition "Leaving Here" by Josh Nelson, is a melancholy ballad that features guest vocalist Sara Gazarek. A well written song, thoughtful lyrics and gorgeous arrangements. The guest artists, Supernova String Quartet are utilized to perfection, adding layers of musical depth, filling out the sound and blending nicely within the framework of the song. The vocal approach by Sara Gazarek is sweet and tender, sad and impassioned, a very emotional vocalist with a wonderful voice, another nice addition to the album.

The recording Let It Go is well produced, with great sound, an excellent mix, and well thought out placement of the songs. Perhaps the song placement matters not, as the songs are all fantastic, the originals, as well as the non-originals, "Love Letters" by Heyman and Young, "Tears in the Morning" by Bruce Johnston, "Abandon Post" by Eric Kertes and "Julia" by Ben Wendel are all played with passion and excitement.

Let It Go by Josh Nelson is a treat, it goes straight to my top ten list for 07, a debut of magnificence, he is a talented young composer and pianist, someone to keep a close eye on. I’m sure his band mates have a lot to do with his spirited playing, Matt Wilson on drums (one of my favorites), Darek Oleszkiewicz on bass, a powerful bassist with solid chops and Anthony Wilson playing sumptuous guitar, as well as the previously mentioned Seamus Blake on tenor saxophone all help to elevate this CD to the must have category.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Josh Nelson
  • CD Title: Let It Go
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2007
  • Record Label: Nativelanguage Music
  • Tracks: Loose End, Introspection on 401, Love Letters, Leaving Here, Tears in the Morning, Abandon Post, Colors, Julia, Deep Breaths, Let It Go
  • Musicians: Josh Nelson (acoustic piano, Rhodes, Hammond C3 organ, glockenspiel), Seamus Blake (tenor saxophone), Anthony Wilson (acoustic, electric guitar), Matt Wilson ( drums, Percussion), Darek ‘Oles’ Oleszkiewicz (acoustic bass), Sara Gazarek (vocals),Robert Anderson, Reiko Nakano (violin), Miguel Atwood - Ferguson (viola) Jacob Szekely (cello)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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